President Barack Obama’s Farewell Address (Full Speech) | NBC News

President Barack Obama’s Farewell Address (Full Speech) | NBC News


. >>THIS IS AN NBC NEWS SPECIAL REPORT. PRESIDENT OBAMA’S FAREWELL ADDRESS, FROM CHICAGO, HERE’S LESTER HOLT.>>AND GOOD EVENING FROM McCORMICK PLACE CONVENTION CENTER IN CHICAGO, FROM IN JUST A MOMENT, PRESIDENT OBAMA WILL GIVE HIS FAREWELL ADDRESS TO AN AUDIENCE OF 20,000 HERE AND MILLIONS MORE WATCHING AT HOME. TONIGHT, WHICH WILL HEAR FROM THE PRESIDENT IN HIS ADOPTED HOME TOWN, REFLECTING ON HIS EIGHT YEARS IN THE OVAL OFFICE. JUST A SHORT TIME AGO, I CONCLUDED BY INTERVIEW WITH THE PRESIDENT ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE. LATER WE SPOKE IN ONE OF HIS DINERS IN HYDE PARG. HE TOLD ME HE HOPES TO FACE HIS CHALLENGESERS FROM HIS SUCCESSOR, POLITIC DONALD TRUMP WHO TAKES OVER THE OFFICE IN JUST TEN DAYS TIME. I AM JOINED HERE BY NBC’S KRISTEN WELKER. KRISTEN, ON THE AIRPLANE COMING HERE TODAY, THERE WAS A SENSE OF NOSTALGIA AMONG HIS SENIOR STAFF. >>HIS SENIOR ADVISERS TOLL ME THIS IS AN INCREDIBLY EMOTIONAL NIGHT. SO MANY PEOPLE IN THIS CROWD HAVE SUPPORTED HIM FROM THE VERY BEGINNING. THIS IS THE PLACE WHERE HE CALM BACK TO CELEBRATE HIS RE-ELECTION FOUR YEARS AGO. IN EXCERPTS RELEASED EARLIER TONIGHT, YOU KNOW HE WILL PRAISE THE AMERICAN VALUES EMBODIED IN THIS CITY. HE WILL SAY THIS IS WHERE HE LEARNED ORDINARY PEOPLE CAN GET INVOLVED AND REALLY MAKE A CHANGE. THIS WILL NOT BE A REBUKE OF DONALD TRUMP. UT GOING TO BE A LOOK ‘BACK AT EIGHT YEARS, A CALL TO ACTION. >>WE KNOW MICHELLE OBAMA IS HERE. THEY’VE JUST MADE THE ANNOUNCEMENT. THERE WAS AN ACT ONLY INm THERE WERE A LOT OF LOYAL SUPPORTERS OF THE PRESIDENT HERE AND THAT THERE WOULD BE THESE KIND OF MOMENTS AS THE PRESIDENT WALKED OUT. CHUCK TODD IS WATCHING ALONG WITH US IN NEW YORK. CHUCK SPEAKING TO THE PREDECESSOR TODAY, HE IS STILL WRESTLING WITH THE ISSUE OF HIS LEGACY AND IN VIEW OF THE TRUMP VICTORY.>>WELL, LESTER, I THINK IT’S UNDERSTANDABLE WHY HE IS A LITTLE BIT. BECAUSE SOME STUFF COULD GET UNDONE WITH THE STROKE OF A PEN WITHIN AN HOUR THAT HE TAKES THE OATH.>>HERE IS THE PRESIDENT.>>IT’S GREAT TO BE HOME. THANK YOU. THANK YOU, EVERYBODY. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU, SO MUCH. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. IT’S GOOD TO BE HOME. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. [ CHEERS ] WE’RE ON LIVE TV HERE. I GOT TO MOVE. YOU CAN TELL THAT I’M — YOU CAN TELL THAT, YOU THE TELL THAT I’M A LAME DUCK BECAUSE NOBODY IS FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS. EVERYBODY HAVE A SEAT. MY FELLOW AMERICANS, MICHELLE AND I HAVE BEEN SO TOUCHED BY ALL THE WELL WISHES THAT WE’VE RECEIVED OVER THE PAST FEW WEEKS, BUT TONIGHT, TONIGHT IT’S MY TURN TO SAY THANKS,. WHETHER WE HAVE SEEN EYE TO EYE OR RARELY AGREED AT ALL, MY CONVERSATIONS WITH YOU, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, IN LIVING ROOMS AND IN SCHOOLS, AT FARMS. ON FACTORY FLOORS, DINERS AND ON DISTANT MILITARY OUTPOSTS, THOSE CONVERSATIONS ARE WHAT HAVE KEPT ME HONEST AND KEPT ME INSPIRED AND KEPT ME GOING. AND EVERY DAY I HAVE LEARNED FROM YOU. YOU MADE ME A BETTER PRESIDENT. AND YOU MADE ME A BETTER MAN. SO I FIRST CAME TO CHICAGO WHEN I WAS IN MY EARLY 20s AND I WAS STILL TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHO I WAS, STILL SEARCHING FOR A PURPOSE IN MY LIFE AND IT WAS A NEIGHBORHOOD NOT FAR FROM HERE WHERE I BEGAN WORKING WITH CHURCH GROUPS IN THE SHADOWS OF CLOSED STEEL MILLS. IT WAS ON THESE STREETS WHERE I WITNESSED THE POWER OF FATE AND THE QUIET DIGNITARY OF WORKING PEOPLE IN THE FACE OF STRUGGLE AND LAWS. I CAN’T DO THAT. NOW THIS IS WHERE I LEARNED THAT CHANGE ONLY HAPPENS WHEN ORDINARY PEOPLE GET INVOLVED AND THEY GET ENGAGED. AND THEY COME TOGETHER TO DEMAND IT. AFTER EIGHT YEARS AS YOUR PRESIDENT, I STILL BELIEVE THAT. AND IT’S NOT JUST MY BELIEF. IT’S THE BEATING HEART OF OUR AMERICAN IDEA, OUR BOLD EXPERIMENT IN SELF GOVERNMENT. IT’S THE CONVICTION THAT WE ARE ALL CREATED EQUAL ENDOWED BY OUR CREATOR WITH CERTAIN UNALIENABLE RIGHTS AMONG THEM LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. IT’S THE INSISTENCE THAT THESE RIGHTS, WHILE SELF-EVIDENT, HAVE NEVER BEEN SELF EXECUTED.>>THAT WE, THE PEOPLE, THROUGH THE INSTRUMENT OF OUR DEMOCRACY CAN FORM A MORE PERFECT UNION. WHAT A RADICAL IDEA. THE GREAT GIFT THAT OUR FOUNDERS GAVE TO US. THE FREEDOM TO CHASE OUR INDIVIDUAL DREAMS THROUGH OUR SWEAT AND TOIL AND IMAGINATION AND THE IMPERATIVE TO STRIVE TOWING AS WELL, TO ACHIEVE A COMMON GOOD, A GREATER GOOD. FOR240 YEARS, OUR NATION’S CALL TO CITIZENSHIP HAS GIVEN WORK AND PURPOSE TO EACH NEW GENERATION. IT’S WHAT LED PATRIOTS TO CHOOSE REPUBLIC OF TYRANNY, PIONEERS TO TREK WEST, SLAVES TO BRAVE THAT MAKE SHIFT RAILROAD TO CLEVELAND. IT’S WHAT PULLED IMMIGRANTS AND RNLS REFUGEES ACROSS OCEANS AND THE RIO GRANDE AND PUSHED WOMEN TO REACH FOR THE BATTLE, WHAT POWERED WORKERS TO ORGANIZE, IT’S WHY GIs GAVE THEIR LIVES AT OMAHA BEACH AND IWOJIMA AND IRAQ AND MEN AND WOMEN FROM SELMA AND STONEWALL WERE PREPARED TO GIVE THEIRS AS WELL. SO, SO THAT’S WHAT WE MEAN WHEN WE SAY AMERICAN DECEPTION. NOT THAT OUR NATION HAS BEEN FLAWFROM THE START BUT THAT WE HAVE SHOWN THE CAPACITY TO CHANGE AND MAKE LIFE BETTER FOR THOSE WHO FOLLOW. YES, OUR PROGRESS HAS BEEN UNEVEN. THE WORK OF DEMOCRACY HAS ALWAYS BEEN HARD. IT’S ALWAYS BEEN CONTENTIOUS. SOMETIMES IT’S BEEN BLOODY. FOR EVERY TWO STEPS FORWARD, IT OFTEN FEELS WE TAKE ONE STEP BACK. BUT THE LONG SWEEP OF AMERICA HAS BEEN DEFINED BY FORWARD MOTION. A CONSTANT WIDENING OF OUR FOUNDING CREED TO EMBRACE ALL AND NOT JUST SOME. [ APPLAUSE ] . IF I HAD TOLD YOU EIGHT YEARS AGO, THAT AMERICA WOULD REVERSE LATE IN THE RECESSION, REBOOT OUR AUTO INDUSTRY, AND UNLEASH THE LONGEST PLEDGE OF JOB CREATION IN OUR HISTORY. IF I HAD TOLD YOU THAT WE WOULD OPEN UP A NEW CHAPTER WITH THE CUBAN PEOPLE, SHUT DOWN IRAN’S NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM WITHOUT FIRING A SHOT, TAKE OUT THE MASTERMIND OF 9/11. IF I HAD TOLD YOU THAT WE WOULD WIN MARRIAGE EQUALITY AND SECURE THE LIFE TO HAVE CONCERN FOR ANOTHER 20 MILLION OF OUR FELLOW CITIZENS IF I HAD TOLD YOU ALL THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE SAID OUR SIGHTS WERE SET A LITTLE TOO HIGH, BUT THAT’S WHAT WE DID. THAT’S WHAT YOU DID. YOU WERE THE CHANGE. THE ANSWER TO PEOPLE’S HOPES AND BECAUSE OF YOU, BY ALMOST EVERY MEASURE, AMERICA’S A BETTER, STRONGER PLACE THAN IT WAS WHEN WE STARTED. IN TEN DAYS, THE WORLD WILL WITNESS A HALLMARK OF OUR DEMOCRACY. NO, NO, NO, NO THE PEACEFUL TRANSFER OF POWER FROM ONE FREELY ELECTED PRESIDENT TO THE NEXT. [ APPLAUSE ] I COMMITTED TO PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP THAT MY ADMINISTRATION WOULD ENSURE THE SMOOTHEST POSSIBLE TRANSITION JUST AS PRESIDENT BUSH DID FOR ME. [ APPLAUSE ] BECAUSE IT’S UP TO ALL OF US TO MAKE SURE OUR GOVERNMENT CAN HELP US MEET THE MANY CHALLENGES WE STILL FACE. WE HAVE WHAT WE NEED TO DO SO. WE HAVE EVERYTHING WE NEED TO MEET THOSE CHALLENGES. AFTER ALL, WE WERE MADE OF THE WEALTHIEST, MOST POWERFUL AND MOST RESPECTED NATION ON EARTH. OUR YOUTH, OUR DRIVE, OUR DIVERSITY AND OPENNESS, OUR BOUNDLESS CAPACITY FOR RISK AND REINVENTION MEANS THAT THE FUTURE SHOULD BE OURS. BUT THAT POTENTIAL WILL ONLY BE REALIZED IF OUR DEMOCRACY WORKS. ONLY IF OUR POLITICS BETTER REFLECTS THE DECENCY OF OUR PEOPLE [ APPLAUSE ] ONLY IF ALL OF US, REGARDLESS OF PARTY AFFILIATION OR PARTICULAR INTERESTS HELP RESTORE THE SENSE OF COMMON PURPOSE THAT WE SO BADLY NEED RIGHT NOW. THAT’S WHAT I WANT TO FOCUS ON TONIGHT. THE STATE OF OUR DEMOCRACY. UNDERSTAND DEMOCRACY DOES NOT REQUIRE UNIFORMITY. OUR FOUNDERS ARGUED, THEY QUARRELLED, EVENTUALLY, THEY COMPROMISED. THEY EXPECTED US TO DO THE SAME. BUT THEY KNEW THAT DEMOCRACY DOES REQUIRE A BASIC SENSE OF SOLIDARITY. THE IDEA THAT FOR ALL OUR OUTWARD DIFFERENCES, WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.>>THAT WE RISE OR FALL AS ONE. [ APPLAUSE ] THERE HAVE BEEN MOMENTS THROUGHOUT OUR HISTORY THAT THREATENS THAT SOLIDARITY. IN THE BEGINNING OF THIS CENTURY HAS BEEN ONE OF THOSE TIMES. A SHRISKING WORLD, GROWING INEQUALITY, DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGE IN THE SPECTRE OF TERRORISM. THESE FORCES HAVEN’T JUST TESTED OUR SECURITY AND OUR PROSPERITY, BUT ARE TESTING OUR DEMOCRACY AS WELL. AND HOW WE MEET THESE CHALLENGES TO OUR DEMOCRACY WILL DETERMINE OUR ABILITY TO EDUCATE OUR KIDS AND CREATE GOOD JOBS AND PROTECT OUR HOMELAND. IN OTHER WORDS, IT WILL DETERMINE OUR FUTURE. TO BEGIN WITH, OUR DEMOCRACY WON’T WORK WITHOUT A SENSE THAT EVERYONE HAS ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES. AND THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT, TODAY THE ECONOMY IS GROWING AGAIN, WAGES, INCOMES, HOME VALUE, AND RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS ARE ALL RISING AGAIN. POVERTY IS FALLING AGAIN. [ APPLAUSE ] THE WEALTHY ARE PAYING A FAIRER SHARE OF TAX, EVEN AS THE STOCKMARKET SHATTERS RECORDS, THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IS NEAR A TEN-YEAR LOW. THE UNINSURED RATE HAS NEVER EVER BEEN LOWER. HEALTH CARE COSTS ARE ARRIVING AT THE SLOWEST RATE IN 50 YEARS AND I’VE SAID AND I MOON IT, IF ANYONE CAN PUT TOGETHER A PLAN THAT IS DEMONSTRABLY BETTER THAN THE IMPROVEMENTS WE’VE NEED OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM THAT COVERS AS MANY PEOPLE AT LESS COST, I WILL COVER IT AND SUPPORT IT. BECAUSE THAT, AFTER ALL, IS WHY WE SERVE. NOT TO SCORE POINTS OR TAKE CREDIT BUT TO MAKE PEOPLE’S LIVES BETTER. BUT FOR ALL REAL PROGRESS THAT WE’VE MADE, WE KNOW IT’S NOT ENOUGH. OUR ECONOMY DOESN’T WORK AS WELL OR GROW AS FAST WHEN A FEW PROSPER AT THE EXPENSE OF THE GROWING MIDDLE CLASS AND LATTERS FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO GET INTO THE MIDDLE CLASS. THAT’S THE ECONOMIC ARGUMENT, BUT START INEQUALITY IS CORROSIVE TO OUR DEMOCRATIC IDEA. WHILE THE TOP 1% HAS AMASSED A BIGGER INCOME. TOO MANY OF OUR FAMILIES IN INNER CITIES AND IN RURAL COUNTIES HAVE BEEN LEFT BEHIND. THE LAID OFF FACTORY WORKER, THE WAITRESS OR HEALTH CARE WORKER WHO’S JUST BARELY GETTING BY AND STRUGGLING TO PAY THE BILLS. CONVINCED THAT THE GAME IS FIXED AGAINST THEM.>>THAT THEIR GOVERNMENT ONLY SERVES THE INTERESTS OF THE POWERFUL. THAT’S A RECIPE FOR MORE CYNICISM AND POLARIZATION IN OUR POLITICS. THERE ARE NO QUICK FIXS TO THIS LONG-TERM TREND. I AGREE, OUR TRADE SHOULD BE FAIR AND NOT JUST FREE. BUT THE NEXT WAVE OF ECONOMIC DISLOCATIONS WON’T COME FROM OVERSEAS, IT WILL COME FROM THE RELENTLESS PACE OF AUTOMATION THAT MAKES A LOT OF GOOD MIDDLE CLASS JOBS OBSOLETE. AND SO WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO FORGE A NEW SOCIAL EXACT TO GUARANTEE ALL OUR KIDS THE EDUCATION THEY NEED. TO GIVE WORKERS THE POWER TO UNIONIZE FOR BETTER WAGES, TO UPDATE THE SOCIAL SAFETY NET TO REFLECT WAY WE LIVE NOW. AND MAKE MORE REFORMS TO THE TAX CODE SO CORPORATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS WHO REAP THE MOST FROM THIS NEW ECONOMY DON’T AVOID THEIR OBLIGATIONS TO THE COUNTRY THAT’S MADE THEIR VERY SUCCESS POSSIBLE. WE CAN ARGUE ABOUT HOW TO BEST ACHIEVE THESE GOALS. BUT WE CAN’T BE COMPLACENT ABOUT THE GOALS, THEMSELVES. FOR IF WE DON’T CREATE OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL PEOPLE THAT THIS AFFECTION AND THE VISION THAT HAS STALLED OUR PROGRESS WILL ONLY SHARPEN IN YEARS TO COME. THERE’S A SECOND THREAT TO OUR DEMOCRACY AND THIS ONE IS AS OLD AS OUR NATION, ITSELF. AFTER MY ELECTION, THERE WAS TALK OF A POST-RACIAL AMERICA AND SUCH A VISION HOWEVER WELL INTENDED WAS NEVER REALISTIC. RACE REMAINS A POTENT AND OFFERING DIVISIVE COURSE IN OUR SOCIETY. NOW I’VE LIVED LONG ENOUGH TO KNOW THAT RACE RELATIONS ARE BETTER THAN THEY WERE TEN OR 20 OR 30 YEARS AGO, NO MATTER WHAT SOME FOLKS SAY. YOU CAN SEE IT, NOT JUST IN STATISTICS, YOU SEE IT IN THE ATTITUDES OF YOUNG AMERICANS ACROSS THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM. BUT WE’RE NOT WHERE WE NEED TO BE. AND ALL OF US HAVE MORE WORK TO DO. IF EVERY ECONOMIC ISSUE IS FRAMED AS A STRUGGLE BETWEEN A HARD WORKING WHITE MIDDLE CLASS AND AN UNDESERVING MINORITY, THEN WORKERS OF ALL SHADES ARE GOING TO BE LEFT FIGHTING FOR SCRAPS WHILE THE THE WEALTHY WITHDRAW FURTHER INTO THEIR PRIVATE ENCLAVE. IF WE’RE UNWILLING TO INVEST IN THE CHILDREN OF IMMIGRANTS JUST BECAUSE THEY DON’T LOOK LIKE US, WE WILL DIMINISH THE PROSPECTS OF OUR OWN CHILDREN BECAUSE THOSE BROWN KIDS WILL REPRESENT A LARGER AND LARGER SHARE OF AMERICA’S WORK FORCE. AND WE HAVE SHOWN THAT OUR ECONOMY DOESN’T HAVE TO BE A ZERO SUM GAME. LAST YEAR INCOMES ROSE FOR ALL RACES, ALL AGE GROUPS, FOR MEN AND FOR WOMEN. SO WE’RE GOING TO BE SERIOUS ABOUT RACE GOING FORWARD, WE NEED TO UPHOLD LAWS AGAINST DISCRIMINATION IN HIRING AND IN HOUSING AND IN EDUCATION AND IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM.>>THAT IS WHAT OUR CONSTITUTION AND OUR HIGHEST IDEALS REQUIRE. THE LAWS ALONE WON’T BE ENOUGH. HEARTS MUST CHANGE. THEY WON’T CHANGE OVERNIGHT. SOCIAL ATTITUDES OFTENTIMES TAKE GENERATIONS TO CHANGE, BUT IF OUR DEMOCRACY IS TO WORK THE WAY IT SHOULD IN THIS INCREASINGLY DIVERSE NATION, THEN EACH ONE OF US NEEDS TO TRY TO HEED THE ADVICE OF A GREAT CHARACTER IN AMERICAN FICTION, ATTICUS FINCH, WHO SAID, YOU NEVER REALLY UNDERSTAND A PERSON UNTIL YOU CONSIDER THINGS FROM HIS POINT OF VIEW, UNTIL YOU CLIMB INTO HIS SKIN AND WALK AROUND IN IT. FOR BLACKS AND OTHER MINORITY GROUPS, THAT MEANS TYING OUR OWN VERY REAL STRUGGLES FOR JUSTICE TO THE CHALLENGES THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY FACE. NOT ONLY THE REASONABLE OR THE IMMIGRANT OR THE REAL POOR OR THE TRANSGENDER AMERICAN, BUT ALSO THE MIDDLE AGED WHITE GUY WHO FROM THE OUTSIDE MAY SEEM LIKE HE’S GOT ADVANTAGES, BUT HAS SEEN HIS WORLD UPENDED BY ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE. WE HAVE TO PAY ATTENTION AND LISTEN. FOR WHITE AMERICANS, IT MEANSING A ONLY INNING THE EFFECTS OF SLAVERY AND JIM CROWE DIDN’T SUDDENLY VANISH IN THE ’60s, THAT WHEN MINORITY GROUPS VOICE DISCONTENT, THEY’RE NOT JUST ENGAGING IN REVERSE RACISM OR PRACTICING POLITICAL CORRECTNESS, WHEN THEY WAGE PEACEFUL PROTESTS, THEY’RE NOT DEMANDING SPECIAL TREATMENT, BUT THE EQUAL TREATMENT THAT OUR FOUNDERS PROMISED. [ CHEERS ] FOR MANLY BORN AMERICANS, IT MEANS REMINDING OURSELVES ABOUT THE STORYIO TYPES OF IMMIGRANTSS TODAY WERE SAID ALMOST WORD-FOR-WORD ABOUT THE IRISH. AND ITALIANS, AND POLs, WHO IT WAS SAID WERE GOING TO DESTROY THE FUNDAMENTAL CHARACTER OF MARC. AS IT TURNS OUT, THE AMERICANS WEREN’T WEAKENED BY THE PRESENCE OF THESE NEWCOMERS. THESE NEWCOMERS EMBRACED THIS NATION’S CREED AND THIS NATION WAS STRENGTHENED. SO REGARDLESS OF THE STATION THAT WE OCCUPY, WE ALL HAVE TO TRY HARDER. WE ALL HAVE TO START WITH THE PREMISE THAT EACH OF OUR FELLOW CITIZENS LOVES THIS COUNTRY JUST AS MUCH AS WE DO, THAT THEY VALUE HARD WORK AND FAMILY JUST LIKE WE DO, THAT THEIR CHILDREN ARE JUST AS CURIOUS AND HOPEFUL AND WORTHY OF LOVE AS OUR OWN. [ APPLAUSE ] AND THAT’S NOT EASY TO DO. FOR TOO MANY OF US, IT’S BECOME SAFE TORE RETREAT INTO OUR OWN BUBBLES, WHETHER IN OUR NEIGHBORHOODS OR ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES OR PLACES OF WORSHIP, OR ESPECIALLY OUR SOCIAL MEDIA FEEDS. SURROUNDED BY PEOPLE WHO LOOK LIKE US AND SHARE THE SAME POLITICAL OUTLOOK AND NEVER CHALLENGE OUR ASSUMPTIONS. IN THE RISE OF NAKED PARTISANSHIP, INCREASING ECONOMIC AND REGIONAL STRATIFICATION THE SPLINTERING OF OUR MEDIA INTO A CHANNEL FOR EVERY TASTE, ALL THIS MAKES THIS GREAT SORTING SEEM NATURAL. EVEN INEVITABLE. AND INCREASINGLY, WE BECOME SO SECURE IN OUR BUBBLES THAT WE START ACCEPTING ONLY INFORMATION, WHETHER IT’S TRUE OR NOT THAT FITS OUR OPINIONS. INSTEAD OF BASING OUR OPINIONS ON THE THAT EVIDENCE IS OUT THERE. [ APPLAUSE ] AND THIS TREND REPRESENTS A THREAT TO OUR DEMOCRACY. POLITICS IS A BATTLE OF IDEAS. THAT’S HOW OUR DEMOCRACY WAS DESIGNED IN THE COURSE OF A HEALTHY DEBATE, WE PRIORITIZE DIFFERENT GOALS AND THE DIFFERENT MEANS OF REACHING THEM. BUT WITHOUT SOME COMMON BASELINE OF FACTS, WITHOUT A WILLINGNESS TO ADMIT NEW INFORMATION AND CONCEDE THAT YOUR OPPONENT MIGHT BE MAKING A FAIR POINT AND THAT SCIENCE AND REASON MATTER, THEN WE’RE GOING TO KEEP TALKING PAST EACH OTHER AND WE’LL MAKE COMMON GROUND AND COMPROMISE IMPOSSIBLE. AND ISN’T THAT PART OF WHAT SO OFTEN MAKES POLITICS DESPIRITED? HOW CAN ELECTION OFFICIALS RAGE ABOUT DEFICITS WHEN WE PROPOSE TO SPEND MONEY ON PRE SCHOOL FOR KIDS BUT NOT WHEN WE’RE CARRYING TAXES FOR CORPORATIONS. HOW DO WE EXCUSE ETHICAL LAMBSS IN OUR OWN PARTY BUT COUNTS WHEN THE OTHER PARTY DOES THE SAME THING? IT’S NOT JUST DISHONEST, THIS SELECTED SORTING OF THE FACE, IT’S SELF DEFEATING. BECAUSE AS MY MOM USED TO TELL ME, REALITY HAS A WAY OF CATCHING UP WITH YOU. TAKE THE CHALLENGE OF CLIMATE CHANGE, IN JUST EIGHT YEARS, WE HAVE OUR DEPENDENTS ON FOREIGN OIL. WE’VE DOUBLED OUR RENEWABLE ENERGY, WE’VE LED TO WORLD TO AN AGREEMENT THAT HAS THE PROMISE TO SAVE THIS PLANET. BUT WITHOUT BOLDER ACTION, OUR CHILDREN WON’T HAVE TIME TO DEBATE THE EXISTENCE OF CLIMATE CHANGE. THEY’LL BE BUSY DEALING WITH ITS EFFECTS, MORE ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTERS, MORE ECONOMIC DISRUPTIONS. WAVES OF CLIMATE REFUGEES SEEKING SANCTUARY. NOW WE CAN AND SHOULD ARGUE ABOUT THE BEST APPROACH TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM. BUT TO SIMPLY DESIGN THE PROBLEM, NOT ONLY DETRAYS FUTURE GENERATIONS, IT BETRAYS THE ESSENTIAL SPIRIT OF THIS COUNTRY. THE ESSENTIAL SPIRIT OF INNOVATION AND PRACTICAL PROBLEM SOLVING THAT GUIDED OUR FOUND ERS IT IS THAT SPIRIT BORN OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT THAT MADE US AN ECONOMIC POWER HOUSE. THE SPIRIT THAT TOOK FLIGHT AT KITTY HAWK AND CAPE CANAVERAL. THE SPIRIT THAT CURES DISEASE AND PUT A COMPUTER IN EVERY POCKET. IT’S THAT SPIRIT A. FAITH IN REASON AND ENTERPRISE AND THE PRIVACY OF RIGHT OVER MIGHT THAT ALLOWED US TO RESIST THE LURE OF FASCISM AND TYRANNY DURING THE GREAT DEPRESSION.>>THAT ALLOWED US TO BUILD A POST-WORLD WAR II ORDER WITH OTHER DEMOCRACY, AN ORDER BASED NOT JUST ON MILITARY POWER OR NATIONAL AFFILIATIONLES, BUT BUILT ON PRINCIPLES, THE RULE OF LAW. HUMAN RIGHTS, FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND SPEECH AND ASSEMBLY AND AN INDEPENDENT PRESS. [ APPLAUSE ] THAT ORDER IS NOW BEING CHALLENGED. FIRST BY VIOLENT FANATICS WHO CLAIM TO SPEAK FOR ISLAM, MORE RECENTLY BY AUTOCRATS AND FOREIGN CAPITALS, WHO SEEK FREE MARKETS AND OPEN DEMOCRACIES AND CIVIL SOCIETY, ITSELF, AS A THREAT TO THEIR POWER. THE PERIL EACH POSES TO OUR DEMOCRACY IS MORE FAR REACHING THAN A CAR BOMB OR A MISSILE. THEY REPRESENT THE FEAR OF CHANGE, THE FEAR OF PEOPLE WHO LOOK OR SPEAK OR PLAY DIFFERENTLY. A CONTEMPT FOR RULE OF LAW THAT HOLDS LEADERS ACCOUNTABLE, AN INTOLERANCE OF THE SENATE AND FREE THOUGHT. A BELIEF THAT THE SWORD OR THE GUN OR THE BOMB OR THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE IS THE ULTIMATE ARBITER OF WHAT’S TRUE AND WHAT’S RIGHT. BECAUSE OF THE EXTRAORDINARY COURAGE OF OUR MEN AND WOMEN IN YOUTHFUL, BECAUSE OF OUR INTELLIGENCE OFFICERS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT AND DIPLOMATS WHO SUPPORT OUR TROOPS NO FOREIGN TERRORIST ORGANIZATION THAT SUCCESSFULLY PLANNED AND EXECUTED AN ATTACK ON OUR HOMELAND THESE PAST EIGHT YEARS. AND ALTHOUGH BOSTON AND ORLANDO AND SAN BERNARDINO AND FT. HOOD REMIND US OF HOW DANGEROUS RADICALIZATION CAN BE. OUR LAW ENFORCEm AGENCIES ARE MORE EFFECTIVE AND VIGIL THAN EVER. WE HAVE TAKEN OUT TENS OF THOUSANDS OF TERRORISTS, INCLUDING BIN LADIN. [ APPLAUSE ] THE COALITION WE ARE LEADING AGAINST ISIL HAS TAKEN OUT THEIR LEADERS AND TAKEN AWAY ABOUT HALF THEIR TERRITORY. ISIL WILL BE DESTROYED AND NO ONE WHO THREATENS AMERICA WILL EVER BE SAFE. AND ALL WHO SERVE OR HAVE SERVED, IT HAS BEEN THE HONOR OF MY LIFETIME TO BE YOUR COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF. WHEN WE ALL OWE YOU A DEEP DEBT OF GRATITUDE. [ APPLAUSE ] BUT PROTECTING OUR WAY OF LIFE, THAT’S NOT JUST THE JOB OF OUR MILITARY. DEMOCRACY CAN BUCKLE WHEN IT GIVES INTO FEAR. SO JUST AS WE AS CITIZENS MUST REMAIN VIGILANT AGAINST EXTERNAL AGGRESSION, WE MUST GUARD AGAINST A WEAKENING OF THE VALUES THAT MAKE US WHO WE ARE AND THAT’S WHY FOR THE PAST EIGHT YEARS, I’VE WORKED TO PUT THE FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM ON A FIRMER LEGAL FOOTING. THAT’S WHY WE’VE END THE TORTURE, WORK TO CLOSE GITMO, REFORMED OUR LAWS TO PROTECT PRIVACIES AND CIVIL LIBERTIES. THAT’S WHY I REJECT DISCRIMINATION AGAINST MUSLIM AMERICANS, WHO ARE JUST AS PATRIOTIC AS YOU ARE. THAT’S WHY WE CANNOT WITHDRAW. THAT’S WHY WE CANNOT WITHDRAW FROM BIG GLOBAL FIGHTS TO EXPAND DEMOCRACY AS HUMAN RIGHTS AND WOMEN’S RIGHTS AND LBGT RIGHTS, NO MATTER HOW IMPERFECT OUR EFFORTS, NO MATTER HOW EXPEDIENT IGNORING SUCH VALUES MAY SEEM, THAT’S PART OF DEFENDING AMERICA. FOR THE FIGHT AGAINST EXTREMISM AND INTOLERANCE AND SECTARIANISM AND CHAUVINISM, ARE THE PEACE WITH THE FIGHT AGAINST AUTHORITARIANISM AND NATIONALIST AGGRESSION. IF THE SCOPE OF FREEDOM AND RESPECT FOR THE RULE OF LAW SHRINKS AROUND THE WORLD, THE LIKELIHOOD OF WAR WITHIN AND BETWEEN NATIONS INCREASES. AND OUR OWN FREEDOMS WILL EVENTUALLY BE THREATENED. SO LET’S BE JINL ILL BUT NOT AFRAID. ISIL WILL TRY TO KILL INNOCENT PEOPLE. BUT THEY CANNOT DEFEAT AMERICA UNLESS WE BETRAY OUR CONSTITUTION AND OUR PRINCIPLES IN THE FIGHT RIVALS LIKE RUSSIA OR CHINA CANNOT MATCH OUR INFLUENCE AROUND THE WORLD UNLESS WE GIVE UP WHAT WE STAND FOR AND TURN OURSELVES INTO JUST ANOTHER BIG COUNTRY THAT BULLIES SMALLER NEIGHBORS. WHICH BRINGS ME TO MY FINAL POINT, OUR DEMOCRACY, OUR DEMOCRACY IS THREATENED WHENEVER WE TAKE IT FOR GRANTED. ALL OF US REGARDLESS OF PARTY SHOULD BE THROWING OURSELVES INTO THE TASK OF REBUILDING OUR DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS. WHEN VOTING RATES IN AMERICA ARE SOME OF THE LOWEST AMONG ADVANCED DEMOCRACIES, WE SHOULD BE MAKING IT EASIER, NOT HARDER, TO VOTE. [ APPLAUSE ] WHEN, WHEN TRUST IN OUR INSTITUTIONS IS LOW, WE SHOULD REDUCE THE GROSS INFLUENCE OF MONEY IN OUR POLITICS AND INSIST ON THE PRINCIPLES OF TRANSPARENCY AND ETHICS AND PUBLIC SERVICE, WHEN CONGRESS IS DYSFUNCTIONAL, WE SHOULD DRAW OUR CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS TO ENCOURAGE POLITICIANS TO CATER TO COMMON SENSE AND NOT RIDGE ID RIGID EXTREMES. BUT REMEMBER, NONE OF THIS HAPPENS ON ITS OWN. ALL OF THIS DEPENDS ON OUR PARTICIPATION, ON EACH OF US ACCEPTING THE RESPONSIBILITY OF CITIZENSHIP. , REGARDLESS OF WHICH WAY THE PENDULUM OF POWER HAPPENS TO BE SWINGING . OUR CONSTITUTION IS A REMARKABLE, BEAUTIFUL GIFT. BUT IT’S REALLY JUST A PIECE OF PARTCHMENT. IT HAS NO POWER ON ITS OWN. WE THE PEOPLE, GIVE IT POWER. WE, THE PEOPLE, GIVE IT MEANING WITH OUR PARTICIPATION AND WITH THE CHOICES THAT WE MAKE AND THE ALLIANCES THAT WE FORGE, WHETHER OR NOT WE STAND UP FOR OUR FREEDOMS. WHETHER OR NOT WE RESPECT AND ENFORCE THE RULE OF LAW. THAT’S UP TO US. AMERICA IS NO FRAGILE THING, BUT THE GAINS OF OUR LONG JOURNEY TO FREEDOM ARE NOT ASSURED. IN HIS OWN FAREWELL ADDRESS, GEORGE WASHINGTON WROTE THAT SELF GOVERNMENT IS THE UNDERPINNING OF OUR SAFETY, PROSPERITY AND LIBERTY. BUT FROM DIFFERENT CAUSES AND FROM DIFFERENT QUARTERS, MUCH PAINS WILL BE TAKEN TO WEAKEN IN YOUR MINDS THE CONVICTION OF THIS TRUTH. AND SO, WE HAVE TO PRESERVE THIS TRUTH WITH JEALOUS ANXIETY, THAT WE SHOULD REJECT THE FIRST DONNING OF EVERY ATTEMPT TO ALIENATE ANY PORTION OF OUR COUNTRY FROM THE REST. OR TO FEEBLE THE SACRED TIES THAT MAKE US ONE.>>AMERICA, WE WEAKEN THOSE TIE, WHEN WE ALLOW OUR POLITICAL DIALOGUE TO BECOME SO CORROSIVE THAT PEOPLE OF GOOD CHARTINGER ARE EACH WILLING TO ENTER INTO PUBLIC SERVICE. SO COARSE WITH RANCOR THE AMERICANS WITH WHO WE DISAGREE ARE SEEN AS MISGUIDED BUT MAIL MALEVOLENT. WE WEAKEN THOSE TIES WHEN WE WRITE OFF THE WHOLE SYSTEM AS INEVITABLY CORRUPT AND WHEN WE SIT BACK AND BLAME THE LEADERS WE ELECT WITHOUT EXAMINING OUR OWN ROLE IN ELECTING THEM. [ APPLAUSE ] IT FALLS TO EACH OF US TO BE THOSE ANXIOUS, JEALOUS GUARDIANS OF OUR DEMOCRACY, TO EMBRACE THE JOYOUS TASK WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN, TO CONTINUALLY TRY TO IMPROVE THIS GREAT NATION OF OURS BECAUSE FOR ALL OUR OUTWARD DIFFERENCES, WE, IN FACT, ALL SHARE THE SAME PROUD TITLE. THE MOST IMPORTANT OFFICE IN A DEMOCRACY CITIZEN. CITIZEN. [ APPLAUSE ] SO YOU SEE, THAT’S WHAT OUR DEMOCRACY DEMANDS. IT NEED YOU. NOT JUST WHEN THERE’S AN ELECTION, NOT JUST WHEN YOUR OWN NARROW INTEREST IS AT STAKE. BUT OVER THE FULL SPAN OF A LIFETIME. IF YOU’RE TIRED OF ARGUING WITH STRANGERS ON THE INTERNET TRY TALKING WITH ONE OF THEM IN REAL LIFE. IF SOMETHING NEEDS FIXING, THEN LACE UP YOUR SHOES AND DO SOME ORGANIZING. IF YOU’RE DISAPPOINTED BY YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS, GRAB A CLIPBOARD, GET SOME SIGNATURES AND RUN FOR OFFICE, YOURSELF. SHOW UP. DIVE IN. STAY AT IT. SOMETIMES YOU’LL WIN. SOMETIMES YOU’LL LOSE. PRESUMING A RESERVOIR OF GOODNESS IN OTHER PEOPLE, THAT CAN BE A RISK AND THERE WILL BE TIMES WHEN THE PROCESS WILL DISAPPOINT YOU, BUT FOR THOSE OF US FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO HAVE BEEN A PART OF THIS WORK AND TO SEE IT UP CLOSE, LET ME TELL YOU, IT CAN ENERGIZE AND INSPIRE. AND MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, YOUR FAITH IN AMERICA AND IN AMERICANS WILL BE CONFIRMED. MINE SURE HAS BEEN. OVER THE COURSE OF THESE EIGHT YEARS, I HAVE SEEN THE HOPEFUL FACES OF YOUNG GRADUATES AND OUR NEWEST MILITARY OFFICERS. I HAVE MOURNED WITH GRIEVING FAMILIES SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS AND FOUND GRACE IN A CHARLESTON CHURCH. I’VE SEEN OUR SCIENTISTS HELP A PARALYZED MAN REGAIN HIS SENSE OF TOUCH. I’VE SEEN WOUNDED WARRIORS WHO AT POINTS WERE GIVEN UP FOR DEAD WALK AGAIN. I’VE SEEN OUR DOCTORS AND VOLUNTEERS REBUILD AFTER EARTHQUAKES AND STOP PANDEMICS IN THEIR TRACKS. I’VE SEEN THE YOUNGEST OF CHILDREN REMIND US THROUGH THEIR ACTIONS AND THROUGH THEIR GENEROSITY OF OUR OBLIGATIONS TO CARE FOR REFUGEES OR WORK FOR PEACE AND ABOVE ALL TO LOOK OUT FOR EACH OTHER. [ APPLAUSE ] SO THAT FAITH THAT I’VE PLACED ALL THOSE YEARS AGO, NOT FAR FROM HERE, IN THE POWER OF ORDINARY AMERICANS TO BRING ABOUT CHANGE, THAT FAITH HAS BEEN REWARDED IN WAYS I COULD NOT HAVE POSSIBLY IMAGINED. AND I HOPE YOUR FAITH HAS TOO. SOME OF YOU WATCHING TONIGHT OR WATCHING AT HOME, YOU WERE THERE WITH US IN 2004 AND 2008, 2012. [ APPLAUSE ] MAYBE YOU STILL CAN’T BELIEVE WE PULLED THIS WHOLE THING OFF. LET ME TALK TO YOU, YOU’RE NOT THE ONLY ONES. MICHELLE. [ APPLAUSE ] MICHELLE LEVON ROBINSON, GIRL OF THE SOUTH SIDE, FOR THE PAST 25 YEARS, YOU HAVE NOT ONLY BEEN MY WIFE AND MOTHER OF MY CHILDREN, YOU HAVE BEEN MY BEST FRIEND. YOU TOOK ON A ROLE YOU DIDN’T ASK FOR AND YOU MADE IT YOUR OWN, WITH GRACE AND WITH GRIT AND WITH STYLE AND WITH HUMOR. YOU MADE THE WHITE HOUSE A PLACE THAT BELONGS TO EVERYBODY. AND A NEW GENERATION SETS ITS SIGHTS HIGHER BECAUSE IT HAS YOU AS A ROLE MODEL. SO YOU HAVE MADE ME PROUD AND YOU HAVE MADE THE COUNTRY PROUD. MALIA AND SASHA, UNDER THE STRANGEST OF CIRCUMSTANCES, YOU HAVE BECOME TWO AMAZING YOUNG WOMEN. ARE YOU SMART AND YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, ARE YOU KIND AND YOU ARE THOUGHTFUL AND YOU ARE FULL OF PASSION AND YOU ARE THE BURDEN OF YEARS IN THE SPOTLIGHT SO EASILY. OF ALL THAT I HAVE DONE IN MY LIFE, I AM MOST PROUD TO BE YOUR DAD. TO JOE BIDEN, [ APPLAUSE ] THE SCRAPPY KID FROM SCRANTON, WHO BECAME THE FAVORITE SON, YOU WERE THE FIRST DECISION I MADE AS A NOMINEE AND IT WAS THE BEST. [ APPLAUSE ] NOT JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE BEEN A GREAT VICE PRESIDENT, BUT BECAUSE I GAVE TO BROTHER, WE LOVE YOU AND JILL LIKE FAMILY AND YOUR FRIENDSHIP HAS BEEN ONE OF THE GREAT JOYS OF OUR LIFETIMES. SO MY REMARKABLE FAMILY, FOR EIGHT YEARS, FOR SOME OF YOU A WHOLE LOT MORE, I HAVE DRAWN FROM YOUR ENERGY AND EVERY DAY I TRY TO REFLECT BACK WHAT YOU’VE DISPLAYED, HEART, AND CHARACTER AND IDEALISM AND I WATCHED YOU GROW UP, GET MARRIED, HAVE KIDS, START INCREDIBLE NEW JOURNEYS OF YOUR OWN. EVEN WHEN TIMES GOT TOUGH AND FRUSTRATED, YOU NEVER LET WASHINGTON GET THE BETTER OF I. YOU GUARDED AGAINST CYNICISM. THE ONLY THING THAT MAKE MISEPROUDER THAN ALL THE GOOD THAT WE’VE DONE IS THE THOUGHT OF ALL THE AMAZING THINGS THAT YOU ARE GOING TO ACHIEVE FROM HERE. AND ALL OF YOU OUT THERE, EVERY ORGANIZER WHO MOVED TO AN UNFAMILIAR TOWN? EVERY CRIME FAMILY WHO WELCOMED THEM IN, EVERY VOLUNTEER WHO KNOCKED ON DOORS, EVERY YOUNG PERSON WHO CAST A BALLOT FOR THE FIRST TIME, EVERY AMERICAN WHO LIVED AND BREATHED THE HARD WORK OF CHANGE, YOU ARE THE BEST SUPPORTERS AND ORGANIZERS ANYBODY COULD EVER HOPE FOR AND I WILL BE FOREVER GRATEFUL. BECAUSE YOU DID CHANGE THE WORLD. YOU DID. AND THAT’S WHY I LOO EVERYBODY THIS STAGE TONIGHT, EVEN MORE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THIS COUNTRY THAN WHEN WE STARTED. BECAUSE I KNOW OUR WORK HAS NOT ONLY HELPED SO MANY AMERICANS, IT HAS INSPIRED SO MANY AMERICANS, ESPECIALLY SO MANY YOUNG PEOPLE OUT THERE TO BELIEVE THAT CAN YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE, TO HITCH YOUR WAGON TO SOMETHING BIGGER THAN YOURSELVES. LET ME TELL YOU, THIS GENERATION COMING UP, UNSELFISH, ALTRUISTIC, CREATIVE, PATRIOTIC. I’VE SEEN YOU IN EVERY CORNER OF THE COUNTRY. YOU BELIEVE IN A FAIR AND JUST AND INCLUSIVE AMERICAN. YOU KNOW THE CONSTANT CHANGE HAS BEEN AMERICA’S HALLMARK. THAT IT’S NOT SOMETHING TO FEAR, BUT SOMETHING TO EMBRACE. YOU ARE WILLING TO CARRY THIS HARD WORK OF DEMOCRACY FORWARD. YOU’LL SOON OUTNUMBER ALL OF US AND I BELIEVE AS THE RESULT, THE FUTURE IS IN GOOD HANDS. MY FELLOW AMERICANS, IT HAS BEEN THE HONOR OF MY LIFE TO SERVE YOU. I WON’T STOP. IN FACT, I WILL BE RIGHT THERE WITH YOU AS A CITIZEN FOR ALL MY REMAINING DAYS. BUT FOR NOW, WHETHER YOU ARE YOUNG OR WHETHER YOU ARE YOUNG AT HEART, I DO HAVE ONE FINAL ASK OF YOU AS YOUR PRESIDENT. THE SAME THING I ASKED WHEN YOU TOOK A CHANCE ON ME EIGHT YEARS AGO, I AM ASKING YOU TO BELIEVE NOT IN MY ABILITY TO BRING ABOUT CHANGE BUT IN YOURS. I AM ASKING YOU TO HOLD FAST TO THAT FAITH WRITTEN INTO OUR FINAL DOCUMENTS, THAT IDEAL WHISPER ABOUT SLAVES AND ABOLITIONISTS, THAT SPIRIT SUNG BY IMMIGRANTS AND HOMESTEADERS AND THOSE WHO MARCH FOR JUSTICE, THAT CREED, REAFFIRMED BY THOSE WHO PLANTED FLAGS FROM FOREIGN BATTLEFIELDS TO THE SURFACE OF THE MOON. CREATED DECOR OF EVERY AMERICAN WHOSE STORY IS NOT YET WRITTEN. YES, WE CAN. IF WE DID, IF WE CAN, THANK YOU, GOD BLESS YOU. MAY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. THANK YOU.>>Reporter: PRESIDENT OBAMA ENDING ON THE MANTRA THAT CARRIED HIM INTO OFFICE EIGHT YEARS AGO, YES, WE CAN, SPEAKING TO A PACKED CROWD, HERE AT McCORMICK PLACE CONVENTION CENTER IN CHICAGO. HIS OFFICIAL FAREWELL SPEECH. LOOKING ON. THE FIRST LADY, MICHELLE OBAMA, WHO BOUGHT THE THE BIGGEST APPLAUSE OF THE NIGHT. ALSO VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN AND DR. JILL BIDEN. WHO HE SINGLED OUT AS DEEP AND CLOSE AND PERSONAL FRIENDS AND PARTNER CALLING VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN A BROTHER. HERE’S THE FIRST LADY AND MALIA OBAMA NOW JOINING THE PRESIDENT ON STAGE. DR. BIDEN. AND VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN. COMING UP TO THANK THE PRESIDENT. KRISTEN WELKER IS WITH ME. HE HAS BEEN WATCHING THIS SPEECH. KRISTEN, THIS WAS A, IT SEEMED LIKE A SPEECH LAYING THE SEED FOR A PRESIDENT WHO IS GOING TO BECOME, CONTINUE TO BE VERY ACTIVE IN TRYING TO SUPPORTED HIS PORT AND THESE IDEALS. >>I THINK ARE YOU RIGHT, LESTER, HE ENDED ON THAT NOTE, YES, WE K. THIS WAS AS YOU WOULD EXPECT A DEFENSE OF HIS LEGACY, BUT IT WAS ALSO A CALL TO ACTION TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND I THINK TO HIS SUCCESSOR, TO DEFEND THIS DEMOCRACY. HE TALKED ABOUT HOW FRAGILE THE NATION’S DEMOCRACY IS. I THOUGHT ONE OF THE MOST POIGNANT MOMENTS WAS WITH PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP. HE SAID NO THE KEY TO OUR DEMOCRACY IS A PEACEFUL TRANSITION. >>CHUCK TODD IS WATCHING ALONG IN NEW YORK. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS HERE? YOU HEAR THE PRESIDENT THANKING HIS STAFF, THANKING AMERICA. >>I THINK WE NEED TO FOCUS ON THE CONTENT. IT’S A REMARKABLE MOMENT IN OUR HISTORY. IT UNDERSCORES THE TUMULTUOUS TIMES WE LIVE IN, THE PRESIDENT THE OUTGOING PRESIDENT, FELT THE NEED TO USE HIS FAREWELL ADDRESS TO NOT JUST MAKE THE CASE ARE FOR DEMOCRACY TO HEAR, BUT TO REMAKE THE CASE FOR DEMOCRACY FOR AMERICANS TO HEAR. I THINK THAT WAS, IN PART, OBVIOUSLY A RESPONSE TO WHAT WE ARE SEEING RIGHT NOW IN OUR POLITICS BUT ALSO AN ATTEMPT TO SEEFB AS SERVE AS A BEACON FOR THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY GOING FORWARD AND HIS SUPPORTERS GOING FORWARD. THAT’S WHY HE ENDED UP ON THIS NOTE. LET’S NOT FORGET THE MEAT OF THIS SPEECH. THIS WAS IN MANY CASES THE PRESIDENT LAMENTING THE STATE OF OUR DEMOCRACY RIGHT NOW IN HIS FAREWELL ADDRESS. >>PRESIDENT OBAMA KNEW THAT JANUARY 20th, 2017, WOULD COME. HE DIDN’T KNOW TWO HE WOULD BE HANDING THE KEYS OVER TO, OF COURSE, UNTIL THE LAST ELECTION. I SAT DOWN WITH THE PRESIDENT HERE IN CHICAGO JUST ABOUT AN HOUR-AND-A-HALF AGO. AND I ASKED HIM ABOUT THE RESULTS OF THAT ELECTION AND HIS REACTION. HERE’S PART OF OUR EXCHANGE.>>TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED THAT NIGHT WATCHING THOSE RESULTS WHEN YOU REALIZE THAT DONALD TRUMP IS GOING TO WIN. WAS THERE AN UNVARNISHED BARACK OBAMA AT THAT MOMENT?>>YOU KNOW, YOU KNOW, THERE WAS JUST SURPRISE. YOU KNOW, GENERALLY SPEAKING, NOT JUST ME BUT MY TEAM HAD BEEN PRETTY GOOD AT SEEING SOMETHING COMING. AND PARTLY BECAUSE JUST THE POLLING WAS SO OFF. THE DATA WAS OFF. THAT WAS A SURPRISE. YOU THOUGH, I THINK THE PRESIDENT-ELECT WOULD BE THE FIRST TO ACKNOWLEDGE HE DIDN’T RUN A CONVENTION ALE CAMPAIGN. AND IT’S NOT CLEAR THAT HE OR HIS TEAM THOUGHT THEY WERE GOING TO WIN. AND SO, SO I THINK MORE THAN ANYTHING, IT WAS JUST ADVISE. >>– SURPRISE.>>HE TALKED THE NEXT DAY HE HAD TO GO IN AND TALK TO HIS STAFF. AND HE HAS TRY ID TO TAKE THE HIGH ROAD IN THIS. BUT HE’S CLEARLY HURTING.>>HE IS. YOU COULD SEE HIM FEEL THAT AND EXPRESS THAT IN HIS RESPONSE TO YOU THERE, LESTER, WHICH IS REALLY STRIKING. HE HAS TALKED ABOUT THE DAY AFTER ELECTION, A PEACEFUL TRANSITION. HE HAS INSTRUCTED HIS WHITE HOUSE TEAM TO MAKE SURE THAT, IN FACT, HAPPENS. WE KNOW THIS THE A CHALLENGE FOR HIM. AND THAT WAS PRESENT IN HIS REMARKS THIS EVENING WHEN HE CALLED ON NOT ONLY THIS CROWD BUT THE NATION’S SUCCESSOR TO REJECT HYPER PARTISANSHIP. TO REJECT DISCRIMINATION IN ALL OF ITS FORMS. HE REFERENCED MUSLIMS.>>THAT IS A CLEAR COUNTER TO SOME OF THE RHETORIC WE WE HEARD ON THE CANE TRAIL. YOU CAN BET, THOUGH, HE WILL REMAIN ENGAGED. >>CHUCK TODD WHEN WE WERE ON THE SET ON ELECTION NIGHT, WHEN IT WAS CLEAR THAT HILLARY CLINTON WAS GOING DOWN TO DEFEAT. I THINK YOU POSED THE QUESTION TO THE PANEL, WHO NOW BECOMES THE LEADER OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY? WATCHING PRESIDENT OBAMA, HOW STRONG WILL HE COME TO REBUILD THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IN. >>LOOK, HE IS THE ANIMATING FORCE INSIDE THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. HE IS THE GUY THAT CAN CONVENE FOLKS AND ORGANIZE THE PARTY. I THINK HE, I THINK HE IS RELUCTANT TO HAVE TO BE THE LEADER GOING FORWARD, BUT IT’S MY UNDERSTANDING HE REALIZES THAT THERE IS REALLY NOBODY ELSE RIGHT NOW THAT IT’S A PLACE HOLDER, BUT THAT HE HAS GOT TO FILL THIS VACUUM. YOU GOT TO BE CAREFUL HERE. YOU DON’T WANT TO OVER — YOU DON’T WANT TO GET TOO INVOLVED THERE THERE IS A FINE LINE YOU WALK AS A FORMER PRESIDENT DOING THAT. I THINK HE IS ACCEPTING. I THINK TONIGHT’S SPEECH IS A PART OF THAT. SHE ACCEPTING THIS IDEA THAT HE IS NOW AND STILL HAS TO REMAIN THE LEADER OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY.>>HE, OF COURSE, NOTED THE PEACEFUL TRANSFER OF POWER THAT IS ABOUT TO TAKE PLACE IN THIS COUNTRY. WE WILL HEAR FROM PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP AND HIS VISION PERHAPS A BIT MORE TOMORROW IN HIS FIRST NEWS CONFERENCE SINCE HIS ELECTION.>>>A PROGRAMING NOTE, WE HOPE YOU WILL JOIN US FRIDAY INTO THE AT 10:00/9:00 CENTRAL, WITH MY EXTENDED INTERVIEW. YOU SAW SOME OF IT THOUGH AND TOMORROW MORNING FOR PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP’S FIRST NEWS CONFERENCE SINCE WINNING THE ELECTION. FOR NOW, I’M LESTER HOLT SAY

Author:

100 thoughts on “President Barack Obama’s Farewell Address (Full Speech) | NBC News”

  • I don't live in US,but i really like Obama because of his positive thinking,that make me think everything is possible as long as you believe what you do.

  • This guy is a disgrace to this country and has allowed laws that are against God. You all will soon see his true colors. Also compare his face to Osama's. Not that hard to figure that out. God bless

  • After he rise up are country n are economy, after he did everything he cut n against the ads, The world said thanks u , for be amazing role model not just for us but for the world, thanks to him are country came back to life, n send the message to the world , the he its the command chief a men of character, the way he did his job remarkable, We not just let him down but also let down are country n those the lost their life so u n me n are kids have a future, After all that n are country choose a thief, racist in a simple word this Hitler!!!!! Well look around thanks to them look the mess ,well thanks to all the vote for this s!!!!t look what u help to destroy everything n everyone this its how all u help to created this chaos, thank for f–k are world n are future

  • Anh ngữ LESH – trung tâm đào tạo tiếng Anh giao tiếp số 1 Việt Nam. 12 NĂM KINH NGHIỆM – 4 CƠ SỞ ĐÀO TẠO – UY TÍN LÀ THẬT. LESH. tự tin mang tới cho bạn những khóa tiếng Anh giao tiếp tốt nhất. Để biết thêm chi tiết bạn có thể truy cập vào LAB.LESH.VN. Trung tâm xin cảm ơn

  • Anthony Nycholas says:

    Ten grueling months later of Trump it seems like it was as if decade passed and the Trump America broke the reverse lever, throwing the progress of creating a brighter future for America through the new agencies created and the innovations and agreements {cough}ParisClimateAccord{cough} that were made in the past 8 years of Obama into full reverse making the U.S. into a new hopeless country and a laughingstock to the world that has lost all of the hard-fought for respect from the world. {sigh} The higher you rise, the harder you fall. Republicans pushed America off it's respect cliff. I miss our last leader. Barack Obama will, in the history books 20-30 years from now, be considered one of the most influential Presidential figures recorded in American history alongside Lincoln, Washington, JFK, FDR. you get my point.

  • For Barack Obama From Recident Immigrant In Santa Ana California name E.O.G.S. im been investigated by (FBI DEA CIA aka Media CHILD MOLESTERS)
    they have all My Family Thank You From Gonzalez Santos Family To Barack Obama Only Investigated U.S. password (Locked Deadline Speed Forever).* Thank Y
    ou This Is For Barack Obama Only.

  • For Barack Obama From Recident Immigrant In Santa Ana California name E.O.G.S. im been investigated by (FBI DEA CIA aka Media CHILD MOLESTERS)
    they have all My Family Thank You From Gonzalez Santos Family To Barack Obama Only Investigated U.S. password (Locked Deadline Speed Forever).* Thank You This Is For Barack Obama Only.

  • For Barack Obama From Recident Immigrant In Santa Ana California name E.O.G.S. im been investigated by (FBI DEA CIA aka Media CHILD MOLESTERS)
    they have all My Family Thank You From Gonzalez Santos Family To Barack Obama Only Investigated U.S. password (Locked Deadline Speed Forever).* Thank You This Is For Barack Obama Only.

  • For Barack Obama From Recident Immigrant In Santa Ana California name E.O.G.S. im been investigated by (FBI DEA CIA aka Media CHILD MOLESTERS)
    they have all My Family Thank You From Gonzalez Santos Family To Barack Obama Only Investigated U.S. password (Locked Deadline Speed Forever).* Thank You This Is For Barack Obama Only.

  • Wow! An economic powerhouse? Trump is in office now for a year and just look at the record breaking stock market. Obama talks like he's from one of those shithole countries.

  • MrBuckaroo2014 says:

    This seems like a lifetime ago!  I can't believe what our country has come to.  I still remain hopeful, however.

  • I like this President Obama. Why? U might ask. It is bcos he is the President of all mankind. He instill goodness, equality, dignity, love and strength among everything in all humanity. That's why if the Republican becomes the good cause of the Americans it is bcos of this President. He has taught them well and that he will always be remembered the best President; the people's President.

  • Obama was a good man. Even though as a Republican I may have disagreed with a few things he did, he had a positive attitude, and was very respectful toward fellow Americans. Thank you, Mr. Former President.

  • Tahminul Islam Sami says:

    The American cannot forget the contribution of Barak Obama. We all should respect his command for the betterment of USA . I am Bangladeshi . The people of Bangladesh miss him alot.

  • I remember I was there. It was my Dad's last day as an Illinois senator. The senate president gave my Mom and Dad tickets to the speech. The plan was that they would go to the speech and my sister and I would watch it at my cousin's house in a nearby suburb. However, my Mom realized that she had already been to 3 Obama speeches before and she gave me her ticket. Keep in mind that we were barely outside of Springfield, IL and traveling in separate cars. We ended up meeting at a travel stop where I would get into my Dad's car and go straight from Springfield to Chicago. Also, another thing to point out is that when we were walking to the building, we saw a TUMBLEWEED IN THE MIDDLE OF CHICAGO AND IN THE RAIN!!

  • This speech makes me cry s
    I'm not American but Obama was the best leader the world ever seen .
    Also Next leader will be
    justin Trudeau Canada prime minister

  • John Nowakowski says:

    Iraq…failure
    Lybia…failure
    Egypt…failure
    Iran…failure
    Benghazi…failure
    North Korea…failure
    Fast and Furious…failure
    race relations…failure
    Free enterprise…failure
    Obamacare…failure
    Spying on Americans…failure
    Disparaging America oversees…success
    Destroying our history…success
    Weakening our military…success
    Endless war…success

  • @ 42:48 the look she gave him was priceless. Man oh man would I love to put a look on my woman's face like that. Incredible speech

  • Yes I believe DearPresidentObama done an amazing job. I love you and his beautiful family. Thanks DearSweetPresidentObama 😘 God bless you 👍👍👍

  • I am going back to this speech now and then to remind myself how and what a real President of USA is and should be. Barack Obama is a great man and a true leader.

  • Fortitudine Vincimus says:

    Seeing this two years later it's such a stark difference between Obama and Trump. This is what true intelligence is compared to the corrupt, inept, vile piece of human garbage we have now as president.

  • Any one see how when the video zooms out there is no big gold upside down united States banner behind Obama? ?but when it zooms in there it is its ment to be live lol (:

  • PRESIDENT OBAMA YOU WILL ALWAYS BE A ROCK STAR .I AM GOING TO MISS HEARING A REAL MAN SPEAK. AND NOT SPEAK. LIKE A 10YR OLD BOY. I WILL MISS YOU PRESIDENT OBAMA. SEEMS LIKE A DARK AND EVIL CLOUD FEEL UP ON US NOV8 ,16

  • Andrew Schmidt says:

    if he didnt tell them to sit, the applause probably would have continued for an extra 10 min possibly more

  • "You do not follow me because I am the strongest. Pax is. You don't follow me because I am the brightest. Mustang is. You follow me because you don't know where you are going. I do." – Pierce Brown, Red Rising.

  • Ernst Guillaume says:

    Haters can jump and say whatever they want, Obama will be classified as one of the greatest presidents of United States of America. What if the Obama's skin color were not brown? It is perplexing to see how devastating racism and discrimination can be to development. Knowledge really does not change people's behavior, for the majority of white people who are discriminating against non-white ones are educated and are full of knowledge.

  • To all of you pathetic, moronic, losers still trying to sing the praise of this person:
    Can you say reality check? What a con he pulled on just about everyone including our elected officials who were afraid to say anything because of the whole race issue. Sad but most of all just plain embarrassing.

  • I'm not a US citizen, but I live on Planet Earth, and consequently, I care about who inhabits the White House. Back in 2009-2016, I honestly thought it was impossible for the US to elect someone like Trump after electing Obama in 2008. I really thought the US had actually upped their game forever. I was so wrong. Trump "won" (he didn't actually win, but I get it… electoral college and all that… Hillary was no much better).
    However, one has to just check Wikipedia to realise that "providential" presidencies are rare in the US…Check "Presidential historical rankings". Check presidents before and after Lincoln. Abysmal. And it's a trend that repeats itself. Historically, you tend to elect one or two good presidents , before and after they tend to be bad.
    And that's why the US is a great nation. Your democratic process, however flawed, allows you to once or twice in a generation, elect a really good person to lead. And that, believe it or not, is very rare in democracies all over the world (never mind dictatorships). Before and after Obama, you get W. Bush and Trump. But Obama pushed the country forward, and this speech is a proof of it.
    Yes, he made mistakes, compromises, NSA surveillance, drones, hawkish decisions,….But he was a good president altogether. And again, this speech is a proof of it. Good, intelligent man, with his heart in the right place. He'll be remembered fondly. Not so with Trump.

  • You the man barack but as a promise farewell is now speech here👋👋👋👋 so bye bye~~and nice to see the illigal mexican border crossers in my town😂😂😂😂

  • Bla bla bla, keep spewing words that someone else wrote. The left will always eat it up….He is an excellent narrator though i do agree on that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *